graffiti Einstein
Theory of relativity it isn't, but ABM promises to help B2B marketers identify and target their most valuable accounts PHOTO: Sidney Perry

The audience at the Paris stop of Salesforce's World Tour got a surprise this morning when Alex Dayon, president and Chief Product Officer Salesforce, unveiled Einstein Account Based Marketing (Einstein ABM).

It’s not a product per se, but an orchestration of several Salesforce product capabilities, some existing, some new, with Einstein's AI and machine learning.Together they promise to help business to business (B2B) marketers identify and target high-value customers and approach them in personalized ways via the rights channels in order to retain and upsell them.

Michael Kostow
Michael Kostow
"The dream of ABM is real," Michael Kostow, senior vice president and general manager, Salesforce Pardot told CMSWire during an interview before the announcement. 

He noted that companies have widely embraced the idea of ABM, but getting it right, at scale, has posed difficulties because of the many moving parts.

An Intelligent Approach to ABM

ABM starts with the idea that B2B buying decisions are made by groups of stakeholders versus a single decision maker and, as such, marketing and sales efforts into accounts need to be personalized and orchestrated, whether sending out a mailing, following up on a downloaded white paper or meeting someone in person.

Moreover, marketers and sales teams need to make sure they are spending their limited budgets on the right accounts — those most likely to spend the most and most likely to buy.

With Einstein ABM, San Francisco-based Salesforce has designed an end-to-end solution made up of:

  • Einstein Lead Scoring which uses data from relationship history and past purchases to predict which accounts are most likely to close
  • Advertising Studio which uses "buyers like you" algorithms and data drawn from online profiles and behaviors, as well as CRM systems
  • Engagement Studio which leverages real-time behavior data to help sales reps identify and engage with influencers and nurture leads via personalized emails
  • Einstein Opportunity Insights to uncover lead engagement, competitor activity and analyze customer sentiment to determine how deals are progressing
  • Einstein Account Insights which provide sales reps with updates of prospect news, such as merger and acquisition announcements, financial filings, etc.
  • Salesforce Engage for personalizing marketing content and pushing it out to prospects when the opportunity is ripe. Engage also offers dashboards to reveal click-through rates and email opens
  • Multi-Touch Campaign Insights to help marketers identify the right sequences and approaches for introducing and delivering content to prospects in order to obtain high quality leads (currently in pilot).

Einstein ABM account dashboard
The Einstein ABM account dashboard

The Sum Is Greater Than the Parts

Keith Dawson, principal analyst at 451 Research, likes Salesforce's approach to ABM. 

“They have identified features across their portfolio, pulled them together, and augmented them with a layer of intelligence,” he told CMSWire. He added that Salesforce is one of the few vendors who has all of the components needed to apply ABM to highly targeted audiences at scale.

It’s worth noting that ABM is an "approach," not a product according to Dawson, which speaks directly to the fact that Einstein ABM's components are available separately. Einstein Lead Scoring, Einstein Account Insights and Einstein Opportunity Insights are all part Sales Cloud Einstein, for example, and available for $50 per user, per month with any Sales Cloud Enterprise Edition license and above. Advertising Studio is generally available today for $2,000 per organization, per month and so on ....

That being said, the interoperability between Salesforce's products is a win for companies that need all of the features, especially if they are already Salesforce customers.

Dawson suggests organizations who want to use ABM identify what they want from a solution and only then look for products to best meet their needs.